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Ancient China
Ms. Melick’s Core
Geography of China
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Food in ancient China
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Northern China had little rainfall, and the winters there are bitter.
Farmers in Northern China grew mostly wheat, and millet.
South China was warmer and wetter.
Farmers in Southern China grew rice, vegetables, fruits, beans, gourds, snow peas,
strawberries, dates, and melons.
China had lots of climates.
Lots of climates = lots of varieties of food.
Flour came from grain.
Tea, hemp, cotton, and fruits.
Chicken, ducks, oxen, pigs, etc.
Chinese people ate with chopsticks.
Many foods were steamed/stewed before eaten.
To save fuel, the Chinese people chopped the food into small pieces.
China lived in a simple diet of beans, grains, vegetables, and a little meat.
Flour was grown in Northern China.
Southern China crops were mostly rice.
Later tea was added.
Lots of Chinese farmers kept livestock.
The art of cooking has been celebrated in China since early times.
Geography in Ancient China
• Tea
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Sipped from small bowls.
Made by boiled water with leaves.
Drying leaves made different types of tea.
Chopped and blended/ sometimes with flowers.
Grown in China, most of it.
Used for fine art.
Flavored.
In the 13th century people began to steep loose
leaves in hot water, that’s when the tea pot arrived.
Geography in Ancient China
• Bodies of Water
– The Yellow River was ruled by the Shang until
1122 B.C.
– The Yangtze River was ruled by the Shang
until 1122 B.C.
– There is a canal between the Yellow and the
Yangtze River.
Geography in Ancient China
• Cooking
– People cooked in pots called dings.
– The cooking pots were divided into several
spots so many foods could be cooked at the
same time.
– The dings were made during the stone age.
– The dings were made by three clay pots stuck
together.
Geography in Ancient China
• Irrigation
– The endless chain, a machine invented
around 100 A.D. pumped water from streams,
and irrigation ditches to farm fields.
– The endless chain pump is operated by foot
power.
– Two men pumping the pedals can water the
fields for an entire village.
Jobs in Ancient China
• Trading in China: The Silk Road
– It was 4000 miles across Asia
– There were many things were traded on the
Silk Road such as ideas and goods like silk
and jade in return for spices and glasses.
– It lasted about 1000 yrs.
Jobs in Ancient China
• The Great Wall
– It was meant for protection from invaders
– Made out of dirt, wood and stone
– Was 3000 mi. long
Jobs in Ancient China
• Tools and inventions
– Made simple compasses out of a lodestone
spoon that pointed south
– Had rudders on boats to steer them
– Had lots of sophisticated weapons at a really
early age
– Invented kites for military purposes
– Invented the crossbow
– Invented the wheelbarrow
Jobs in Ancient China
• Tools and inventions continued
– Made the first seismograph
– Had an accurate working clock
– Had iron plows with moldboards
– Made gas lamps
– Made pots with the “lost wax” method
– Had iron swords
– Had fish-scale armor
Jobs in Ancient China
• Technology and economy
– Experts in making bronze art and iron
weapons
– Mined lots of salt
– Used bells to make music
– Had lots of silk
– Knew the moon shined because of the sun
– First to record a lunar eclipse
Chinese Government
• Civil Service
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Started government during Han Dynasty.
Only educated administrators could be in government.
They created a test to be in the government.
Top palace examination could be ministers or they could marry
princesses.
• Government
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They had a King
The King controlled the land
The King set up smaller kingdoms ruled by family members.
Death of smaller Kingdom ruler power passed to either the
brother or son.
– They used slaves as sacrifices.
Chinese Government
• Great Wall of China
– Was built in 214 b.c.e.
– Was built to keep the Xiongnu nomads out.
– They built the wall high, because they would have to
leave the horses down.
– There were guards at the Great Wall.
– If enemy approaches they would light fires on the
roofs.
• Terra-cotta army
– Was to guide the Emperor Qin’s spirit to the next life.
– No statues were alike because it was based off of
everyone in the Qin army.
Chinese Government
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Army
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Fought off bandits
Kept workers from running away
They were spies
They bribed people
Had alliances to conquer new territory.
There was a empire larger than any earlier dynasty’s.
Used harsh mesures
Killed their own people
Warfare
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One battle half a million people died
Sun Zi wrote the first military handbook called The Art of War.
Chariots carried a charioteer, an archer and an halberdier.
When they invented the crossbow it was one of the most deadly weapons on the
battlefield.
– Normally the weapons were made out of bronze.
– The armor was made out of small iron plates.
Chinese Government
• Transportation
– When they invented the wheel barrow that enabled
the people to carry one person at a time and they
could carry heavy loads.
– Large ships could steer by using sternpost rudder.
– Harness invented for cart that enabled heavier loads
to be carried by oxen and horses.
– Common boats on water are called Sampans which
means three planks.
– Camels formed long caravans that traveled on the
Silk Road.
Social Classes
• Top
– Nobles
• Fought in army
• Lived in palaces
• Hunted with king
• Middle
– Craftspeople
• potters, medalists, bronze workers
• Bronze workers made weapons
• Made things for the king
Social Classes
• Middle
– Tradesmen
• Traded goods
• Money was sea shells
• Get money from neighboring regions
• Bottom
– Slaves
Clothing
• Very different from rich and poor
– Farmers and Peasants
• Loose baggy clothes
• Rough fabric
• Plant fibers
– Officials, rich ladies, people of imperial court, scholars
• Robes of silk
• Merchants who traded silk were forbidden to
wear it
• Many punished for wearing under outer layer
• Cotton was popular, never replaced silk
Housing
• King lived in palace
– Beautiful gardens
– Royal carpets
• Rich people lived near palace
• Relatives lived near/next to palace
Home
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3 generations in 1 house
House divided by courtyards
Grandfather the head man
Members of family expected to be loyal
Name:
– Family name, then personal name
The People
• Thought everything should be different:
– Rich to poor
– Women to men
• Kids don’t go to school
– Helped parents
– Farming
– Household jobs
• Rich girls didn’t go to school
• Rich boys did
Family Life
• Family life very important
– Special attention given to elderly
• Men could only have 1 wife
• Main purpose was to have a son
• Related families formed into large clans
– 5-6 people to a family
Family
• Confucism
– Said that loyalty to the family was very important
– Encouraged people to honor their ancestors
• Three generations of one Family normally lived
in one house.
– The oldest male (usually the grandfather) was the
head of the house hold.
– Daughters were married off at an early age and
became part of their husbands household.
Fashion
• Men
– Men wore their hair long because it was a sign of disrespect
to cut off hair you had inherited from their father
• Women
– Women of high class bound their feet at an early age so they
grow with toes tucked under their feet.
– Small feet was considered less a sign of beauty, then a
symbol of status to the man whom she married.
– This is because if a man could support a wife who couldn’t
work than he must have a lot of money.
– The process was very painful and couldn’t be undone.
Social Class
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Emperor
– Made laws. Came from ruling family. Each new dynasty, another family took
power.
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Noblemen and Government Officials
– Noblemen enjoyed a life of wealth.
– Government Officials would be picked from anywhere and had to pass a
difficult examination.
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Farmers and Peasants
– Considered the backbone of China.
– Lived a life of poverty and hunger.
– Worked to in the fields.
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Craftsmen and Artisans
– Made beautiful pottery, silk, etc. for trade.
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Merchants and Traders
– Although they lead a life comfort compared to farmers and artisan, they were
considered the least important because they did not produce anything.
Chinese Culture
Chinese Culture
• Wax Method
– Artists made a model of a artists work
– Artists covered model in a thick layer of clay
– When the clay was dry, they heated it up
Chinese Culture
• Medicine
– They put everything that Chinese knew about
diseases into an encyclopedia
Chinese Culture
• Pottery
– Made bowls, jars, plates and more
– 2 types: fired at 1470 degrees Fahrenheit and
pottery was baked at a higher temperature
– Stoneware, porcelain and earthenware
– earthenware- black to gray inside
– Porcelain- high temperature- pure white inside
Chinese Culture
• Chinese Art
– Earlier they used bronze
– Later they used paints
– They made bronze tools for army
Chinese Culture
• Temples
– They worshiped in temples
– Built in caves
– Huge carvings of spirits, demons, and
teachers
Chinese Culture
• The Great Wall of China
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Made for defense
Built in different sections
Extends about 4,500 miles
Most built in Ming Dynasty (5th and last period major period of
construction)
Mostly made of brick, limestone, and granite
Some parts made of dirt and wood
Watched towers to help army spot enemies
Large gates built in some areas
Some places could fit a whole army
Manchus (nomadic tribe) took over inin 1700’s and the
construction stopped
Chinese Culture
• Architecture
– 3 gen. of family under one roof
– Traditional home was divided into sections
– Main gate was in the outer courtyard
– Side rooms were like guests/ library
– Only the family could go in the inner courtyard
– The family goes into the main building
China Entertainment
• Played board games
• Played chess and dice game
• Played War (reenacted battles)
China Medicine
• Thought ying and yang ( someone's spirit)
was out of balance when someone
became sick
• Chinese medicines date back to 2,000
B.C.
• Doctors believed people could become
immortal
China Calligraphy
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Li Shu
Han Dynasty- keeping record
Kai Shu
250 B.C.E- Ordinary Writing
Xing Shu
300 B.C.E- artistic writing
China Terra Cotta Warriors
• Were found in Dragon Emperors tomb
• Protect dragon emperor in afterlife
• Clay horses and chariots
China Confucianism
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Confucius 479-551 B.C.
Developed rules
Believed family was worthy of respect
Good government
Provided China with a long lasting society
China Shrines
• People had shrines in there homes
• Worshiped gods
• Smaller than temple
China Pottery
• Tomb models carefully detailed and
glazed
• Porcelain white and smooth
• Valuable
• Discovered by European explorer Johann
Bottger